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How Long Do You Have to Sue an Executor?

FAQs Jul 24, 2022
post about How Long Do You Have to Sue an Executor?

Statutes of limitations are SHORT in Florida probates and estates! The first thing that you need to know is: are you suing the executor for something the dead person did? Are you suing the estate? Or………. are you suing the executor for something she did during estate administration? Hurry! Before the estate closes and you are left out. (To learn about WHO CAN BE EXECUTOR, click that link). Understanding Probate Claims Every right or possible lawsuit must be filed or asserted within the appropriate time frame. These time limitations to make claims are often referred to as statutes of limitations. You can read all about the statutes of limitations by clicking THIS LINK and reading Florida Law 95.11. If you have a claim against a person who is now deceased, you are a creditor. Part VII of the Florida Probate Code tells you all about creditor claims. Creditor claims must be filed no later than 2 years after the decedent’s death. That’s Probate Law 733.710. That’s the MAXIMUM time you have to sue. And you need a probate court proceeding open in Florida to file your Statement of Claim. Writing a letter won’t work. Even if you are under the 2 year rule, you may have had to file a statement of claim earlier. There are 3 month statutes of limitations. See Probate Law 733.702. It depends on whether or not you got actual notice and when publication of notice to creditors was accomplished. 3 months? Yes !! 3 months. […]


When Co Trustees Disagree

FAQs Jul 23, 2022
post about When Co Trustees Disagree

When Florida Co Trustees disagree, what is a beneficiary to do? Perhaps the BETTER question is what are the co trustees supposed to do? We have written before on whether or not co trustees must act jointly. Now, let’s consider when co trustees disagree in a Florida Trust. Florida Trust Rules In Florida, trustees must rule by majority vote unless the trust says otherwise. So, if you have an odd number of trustees or co trustees, not to worry. You just vote on stuff. But what if there are an even number of co trustees? Like two? Two co trustees is (are) very common in Florida. What rules apply when two co trustees can’t agree? Well, the answer to that question is two-fold. When Co Trustees Disagree First, look to the trust document. What does it say about trustees’ votes and decision-making? A trust, for example, could give one trustee “super-trustee” powers. Veto powers. Or, a third party, a tie-breaker, can step in to decide what to do when Co trustees disagree. Sometimes there is a “special trustee” for that single role. Or another person such as a trust protector to handle trustee disagreements. What happens when there is no tie breaker? Often, trustees go to court. They file a “dec action”. An action for declaratory relief. The co trustees or co trustee simply tell the Court what’s going on. What the disagreement is and the judge will decide what to do. To read more about the office of the […]


Do Co Trustees Have to Act Jointly?

FAQs Jul 23, 2022
post about Do Co Trustees Have to Act Jointly?

Trust disputes can get ugly between beneficiaries and their trustees. But what if there are multiple trustees of your Florida trust who don’t agree? Do Co Trustees have to act jointly? Read below for the answer. If you would like to see a FREE FLORIDA TRUST VIDEO on trust lawsuits’ secrets, click that link. Florida Trust Suits and Disputes The Florida Revocable Trust is almost as popular as the will. A Florida Will often “pours over” into a revocable trust. The revocable trust becomes irrevocable upon the creator’s death. (To read more about what a revocable trust, is click HERE.) Many Floridians use a revocable trust to leave inheritances, real estate and money for loved ones. When you create a trust, you have to name a trustee. (To read how to create a Florida Trust, consider glancing at Florida Trust Code Law 736.0401). Sometimes, the trust creator names multiple trustees. But what if the co trustees don’t get along? Do co trustees have to act jointly? (To see an easy-to-follow Florida Trust Legal Video on trust challenges, simply click HERE.) When Co Trustees Don’t Agree When co trustees don’t agree, how do they run the trust? First, Co Trustees should get along, cooperate and work together. (To read about a trustee’s duties, check out Florida Trust Code Law 736.0801- 736.0817. ) Read the trust document. Most trust documents will give the trustees instructions on how to act . A trust document might say that the co trustees MUST act unanimously. […]


Can a Power of Attorney Make Gifts?

FAQs Jul 16, 2022
post about Can a Power of Attorney Make Gifts?

In Florida, people have power-of-attorney documents as often as they have a will or a revocable trust. But mis-use of a “POA” causes concern. Many times, POAs take money or make gifts when they should not. So, can a Power of Attorney make gifts? To read about MISUSING a power of attorney, click this FREE LINK to Florida POA Law. Power of Attorney in Florida Let’s come out and say it : a power of attorney should not make gifts in Florida. There is even a special law about making gifts. Read Fla. Stat. 709.2202(1)(c) which prohibits making gifts ABSENT VERY SPECIFIC LANGUAGE AND PERMISSION. BUT, doesn’t every rule have exceptions. Here are some important bullet points for power of attorney law in Florida. (For a free legal video on UNDERSTANDING POWER OF ATTORNEY, click HERE.) A power of attorney is a fiduciary The person who “gives” or “creates” a power of attorney is called the “principal“ The POA is supposed to act in that person’s best interest The POA can and should spend the principal’s money — on the principal! The POA can use the power of attorney document to pay the principal’s bills The POA should not make gifts of the principal’s money unless the document specifically authorizes that The fiduciary should not make gifts of money or property to herself That’s called “self dealing” and is a “conflicted transaction” or a conflict of interest In unique or rare or limited circumstances, a principal might give the POA […]


How Long is an Emergency Temporary Guardianship?

FAQs Jul 16, 2022
post about How Long is an Emergency Temporary Guardianship?

A Florida Emergency Temporary Guardianship should only last 90 days. BUT, there are special rules. There is much written about Florida Guardianship Lawyers and what litigators refer to as CONTESTED GUARDIANSHIPS. (Click that last tab for free legal videos). To learn more about ETGs, keep reading. Florida Guardianship Law Want to learn more about Florida Guardianship Law? Start with Florida Laws Chapter 744. That’s the Florida Guardianship Code. Those are statutes which tell the judges, the court, and the litigants, and their lawyers, how things run. Do you know the difference between a “mental health” case and “guardianship” or “GA” case? Do you know why you need two cases for a guardianship? (Yes, asking the court to rule that mom or dad is not competent is different than, but related to, asking a probate judge to appoint you as guardian.) Don’t forget to read the Florida Probate Code which has special rules for all probate matters. This includes estates and probates and guardianships. Finally, where is your guardianship located? Courts in Florida are divided up into judicial circuits. Judicial circuits in Florida have divisions. Each Florida Judicial Circuit has a probate division. The probate division handles guardianships. There may be more than one judge assigned to handle guardianships. That means there can be 2 or 3 divisions that your guardianship may get assigned to. Be sure to check out the Administrative Orders & local rules for your judicial circuit as well as a judge’s set of “judicial instructions.” Most can […]


Florida Guardianship Lawyer — what you can learn from a recent case

In the News Dec 19, 2021
post about Florida Guardianship Lawyer — what you can learn from a recent case

Finding a good Florida guardianship lawyer should not be hard. There are, after all, dozens of so called “elder law” attorneys and “guardianship attorneys.” But if you are in a “fight” or a contested guardianship, don’t you need firepower? A guardianship trial attorney? A December 15, 2021 case lets you get up to speed very quickly on some of the most important legal principles. To see a number of FREE FLORIDA GUARDIANSHIP VIDEOS, simply click those words. What You Need to Read How can you learn the basic “legal stuff” about guardianships quickly? There are four things to read. The Florida Guardianship Code. Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes is our Guardianship Code. That is an excellent place to start. It sets for the basic legal concepts, some procedural time frames and legal rights. Second, consider reading the Florida Probate Rules. Why? Because there are special rules for guardianships. See Part III to the Rules. I know that everyone has see the Netflix film, I Care a Lot, or have read about the Britney Spears guardianship. But in Florida, you might consider taking your cues from serious, experienced guardianship trial attorneys. Read Florida Appellate Opinions. These are written legal opinions from our District Courts of Appeal. There is a December 15, 2021 opinion from the 3rd District Court of Appeal. That court handles appeals for Miami-Dade County. Let’s see what we can learn from their opinion in the In Re: Guardianship of Ash. Florida Guardianship Lawyer — do I really […]


Florida Trust Lawyer — to help you with administration, litigation, malfeasance, or …..?

Our Attorneys Dec 4, 2021
post about Florida Trust Lawyer —  to help you with administration, litigation, malfeasance, or …..?

Trust law in Florida is sort of specialized, right? I mean there are special rules and laws. We have previously written about hiring a Florida Trust Lawyer. Now, let’s go a bit deeper and give you another perspective. Whether you are a beneficiary, trustee, or you were cut-out of an inheritance, and need to file a TRUST CONTEST, the following should be helpful. How Do I Find the Best? Many times, wealth in passed along to a trust. You don’t get your inheritance OUTRIGHT. Your receive money or property in a Florida Trust. And you have to ask your trustee for money in many cases. That’s because many trusts give a trustee the DISCRETION to give — or not give— money to you. That’s a lot of power over a lot of money. Beneficiaries who claim that their trustee is not behaving properly may sue. Many times, those Florida trust lawsuits revolve around whether or not the trustee abused her discretion. For a free video on Trustee Abuse of Discretion, click that phrase. To read a book about being a Florida Trustee written by trust litigator John Pankauski, Esquire, click HERE. Find the Florida Trust Lawyer That’s Right For You Now, no one is telling you to run down to the county clerk’s office and file a trust lawsuit. But, it may make sense to have a Florida trust lawyer explain how your trustee is doing. How is the trust being managed? The truth is, many times beneficiaries mistakenly believe […]


Estate Claims in Florida — how to deal with them

FAQs Dec 2, 2021
post about Estate Claims in Florida — how to deal with them

Many times, you have to make a claim in a Florida probate or estate to get your money. That’s if you are considered a “creditor.” On the other hand… Often, if you are beneficiary or an executor, you have to deal with those creditors and estate claims. Should you pay them? Are they valid? You can OBJECT to those claims if appropriate. This Florida Probate Commentary will deal with estate claims. To read more about making a claim, you can click HERE. Now, let’s find out quickly and concisely what you need to know. Estate Claims — what are they and how do I get paid? Estate claims are claims made against a deceased Florida resident. They are sometimes referred to as creditors claims. Why? If you are owed something from a dead person, you are her creditor. A creditor’s rights and status are different than those of a BENEFICIARY. Since the Florida resident (who owes you something ) is now dead, you have to make your claim against her estate. What is an estate claim? Think of a claim as an assertion of a right. It may be a right to get re-paid, like from a loan you made to the dead person. Or it may be a right to buy certain property. Think real estate or an interest in a Florida LLC when a member dies. How do I do make my claim? File Your Claim ! If you are owed any money from someone who died, you […]


Estate Objections in Florida

In the News Dec 1, 2021
post about Estate Objections in Florida

Sometimes, to exercise your rights in a Florida probate, you have to file estate objections. This is particularly true with a surviving spouse . Why? Because a spouse has a lot of legal rights and options in a probate. Elections to make–or not make. What about compensation and attorneys fees? Yup, someone might object to them. A November 24, 2021 case discusses when one has standing in a Florida estate or probate to object. Estate Objections What’s to object to? Things like: compensation of the Personal Representative, fees, costs and how the estate is being administered or how property is being managed. You have to object to an estate inventory before the estate is closed. But for other matters, you may have to object much sooner. Compensation of the executor (personal representative) Attorneys fees Determination of beneficiaries Costs incurred or estate money spent Elective share elections Family allowance Estate property inventory Probate accounting Statements of claim Creditors claims and more……………….. ! How Can I Learn More (What Do I Need to Read Right Now) ? The Florida Probate Code is the set of statutes or laws which govern estates. Estates are those legal proceedings or entities which are created when a Florida resident dies. The person in charge of a Florida estate is the “Personal Representative.” What does she do? A personal representative of a Florida probate does a lot ! They: gather assets, pay creditors, pay estate administration expenses, deal with any issues like litigation or payment of final […]


Statute of NonClaim — creditors claims in Florida Estates

In the News Nov 30, 2021
post about Statute of NonClaim — creditors claims in Florida Estates

If you are owed anything from a dead person in Florida, file a statement of claim absolutely no later than 2 years after the date of death. Wow, that’s an earful. A November 24, 2021 Florida Appellate Opinion on estate claims reminds us about Florida’s Statute of Nonclaim. And why you need to file a statement of claim ASAP in a Florida probate. To read more about creditors claims in Florida estates or probates, you can click HERE. Claims in a Florida Probate If you are owed anything from someone who dies, you need to open a probate. And make your claim ! If a probate is opened, that saves you a step! Now, you need to file a timely statement of claim. (If you don’t want to open a probate, consider filing a CAVEAT. But be careful of the 2 years time frame.) If you lent money to a person who is now deceased, break out the loan agreement. It probably has a provision on what to do if the borrower dies. But money lent or loans are just one example of a claim that must be filed in a probate in Florida. If you have rights under a prenup, a contract, or an operating agreement, like a Florida LLC, you need to file a statement of claim. And the law limits how much time you have to do that. If you don’t file your claim properly and timely, you are out of luck. For a free Florida probate […]